Huawei, the Chinese telecoms equipment group, has unveiled what it claims is the world’s fastest smartphone and announced a 60% annual rise in shipments of its mobile devices.
Headlining at the mobile phone industry’s annual gathering in Barcelona, which opened its doors a day after hundreds of thousands of demonstrators rallied across Spain in protest at national austerity, Huawei presented its latest device to run on Google’s Android software.
The Ascend P2 connects to the web two or three times faster than other smartphones when using Wi-Fi, its maker claims, downloading high-definition films in minutes and videos, songs and eBooks in just seconds.
In the Christmas quarter, Huawei overtook BlackBerry to become the world’s third largest smartphone maker. Although it is some way behind Samsung and Apple, its less expensive but high-performing handsets are attracting a growing following.
It shipped a total of 127m consumer devices last year, of which 32m were smartphones alongside more basic “feature” phones, home broadband modems and dongles to connect laptops to mobile networks.
The division generated $7.5bn of revenues in 2012, a 10% increase on the previous year. Overall income including sales of network equipment to telecoms companies totalled $35.4bn, bringing Huawei level for the first time with the market leader Ericsson.